Care and compassion
This last week has been a very tough one. I can’t say that I feel I even have a lot to write about. The focus of the week has been self-care and looking after myself after things took a bit of a nose dive into chaos and breakdown towards the end of the week. I feel like I have a lot of pent up emotions at the moment but I’m finding it difficult to access them in any kind of rational, measured way. A lot of the time my head is hurting from the mess of thoughts and feelings going on in there and yet on the outside I just feel numb. For days I haven’t been able to write as I can’t connect thoughts in my head to words on a page, so that has meant one major distraction avenue for me has been shut off. Instead I have been trying to focus on other activities like reading, listening to music and watching inane programmes on the tv. To be honest though, focusing on anything is hard and fairly often it has been the best I can do to merely exist from hour to hour.
There are a lot of things triggering me at the moment too. It’s like that thing with when you get a new car and then all of a sudden, all you see on the road are cars like yours when you’ve never really noticed any before. Everything at the moment seems to relate to me in some way (not in an egotistical way, I mean it seems to relate to my situation) and I am constantly getting plunged back into intrusive thoughts and feelings, which is all pretty exhausting.
When things are going well, walking my dog is something that I do before the activities of my day begin. The past few days, it has been the activity of the day. But I have to remind myself that that’s ok sometimes. I’m still in recovery and EMDR is bringing up a lot that I have to deal with - taking time out to process some of it or even to just learn how to sit with it is natural. More than that, it marks a step of progression in me. In the past I would just be soldiering on and not letting anything sink in but that only leads to meltdown sooner or later. Taking the time now will hopefully be healthier in the long run.
I have to say that I really appreciate now why I had to wait so long to be offered therapy by my Recovery Team - I don’t just mean when I came out of the Cassel but why they never offered it to me before things really kicked off in 2016 either. I just wouldn’t have been strong enough to cope with it. My emotional instability was too great and my behaviour was too risky - yes I feel totally crap and horrendous now but at least I have a firmer base on which to wobble, so hopefully I won’t come crashing down completely. In the past I think I might have done.
In practical news, I am still trying to think about ways to get more people involved in my campaign for a local personality disorder service and also ways to raise its profile. I’m not having much joy trying to get hold of my MP regarding follow up from our meeting in July but I will keep persevering. I think it is so important that patients in my county have the opportunity to access facilities of a specific PD or complex needs service, with trained professionals, like those which exist in so many other areas across the UK.
NICE guidelines state
“Mental health trusts should develop multidisciplinary specialist teams and/or services for people with personality disorders. These teams should have specific expertise in the diagnosis and management of borderline personality disorder...”
yet in our county we have no such service and no specifically trained staff, let alone teams. Like so much else in the NHS, it all comes down to a postcode lottery and unless someone stands up and says we need something, nothing is ever going to change. I learnt at the conference last week that I’m not the only one who thinks there should be a service, now I just have to figure out how to get everyone’s voices united and to be heard!